Time's a-Wasting, Let's Have a 'Quickie'
Ah, the venerable "quickie."
Quickie sex has long been a staple of our fervent imaginations, peppering the pages of literature and splashing across the silver screen like so many hastily discarded undergarments. While movie and book characters often make these brief trysts appear smooth and simple, fiction does not always adequately reflect reality.
Why do it quickly?
There's often an expectation derived from movies and porn that in order to be satisfying, sex needs to be a sweaty marathon involving every position under the sun—including a few you invent in the moment.
However, sex therapists assure us the intimacy, bonding and pleasure derived from sex can just as easily be something we acquire from shorter, less complicated encounters.
"If you start to associate sex with a whole hourlong ordeal, that's one thing," said Natalie Finegood Goldberg, L.M.F.T., a sex therapist and psychotherapist in Los Angeles. "But if you can associate sex with a sort of 10 minutes of intimacy and other formats—let's say your partner wants to masturbate with your help—that can be quick and that doesn't have to be a big song and dance."
As Finegood Goldberg suggested, quickies don't require penetration. Redefining what we mean by "sex" opens a potentially limitless number of doors to pleasure.
"Hands, mouth, toys—there are multiple other options when it comes to pleasuring someone," she added.
Making preparations, managing expectations
When you're talking about exploring the world of quickies, one of the first items to consider is the level of realism in all those images we've absorbed from movies.
Sure, a partner can give you the eye at a party when you both happen to be in the right mood, and you can scamper off to the bathroom together and have an amazing quickie. But the human body isn't always so cooperative. It's certainly not designed to constantly be ready to engage in sex at the drop of a hat, despite societal expectations.
"I talk a lot about the reality that foreplay is for men, too," Finegood Goldberg said. "There's a lot of, 'Oh, foreplay is a woman thing, blah blah blah,' and I talk a lot about [how], 'No, foreplay is for you, too.' A lot of men need time, they need space, they need touch, they need the setting to quiet down. I talk a lot about the importance of foreplay for men. And foreplay takes time."
Priming the pump
One way to be more prepared for spontaneous sex is to be healthier overall. Blood flow, heart health and weight all have direct, measurable effects on a man's ability to get an erection.
"The first line is making changes in their lifestyle, exercise and diet," said Neel Parekh, M.D., a male fertility specialist at Cleveland Clinic. "All those things will help improve the quality of erections and their testosterone levels. All those are things they can improve naturally."
Parekh suggested that if you're struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED) but generally healthy, medications are relatively safe for most healthy men and come in low, daily doses. If you're otherwise healthy and not taking any other meds that are contraindicated, an extra boost from an ED drug might be just the thing to keep you more prepared for spontaneous quickie action.
"I put my male patients on daily Cialis all the time just to encourage blood flow and to encourage nighttime erections," said Amy Pearlman, M.D., the director of men's health at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa Health Care. "Getting erections is really good for the body. It doesn't make anyone reliant on the medication in the future. It just increases the amount of time nitric oxide sits around in the penile tissue, and nitric oxide is a vasodilator. The best thing men can do for themselves is getting regular erections, just for the health of the penile tissue."
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Ensuring everyone is on the same page when visiting Quickie Town is vital. It's rare for partners in a relationship to share the exact same sex drive, and misunderstandings over what people want could kill the mood. It's especially important for guys to understand that if they're not always in the mood, that's not in any way abnormal, despite societal expectations.
"The assumption is it's the woman who doesn't want to have sex," Finegood Goldberg said. "Quite frankly, in my practice, I'd say it's pretty 50-50. I work with a lot of heterosexual couples where it's the male who has a lower libido."
Prepare for takeoff
One tactic sex therapists recommend for setting yourself up for a successful sexual encounter is to build the sexual tension in advance. Once you and your partner have established you both might be up for a quickie at some point, maybe tease them with what you want to do with them or suggest things you'd like them to do to you. But never send unsolicited sexts.
"I would say touch, eye contact, kisses throughout the day, hugs throughout the day, taking moments of pause where you're not just yelling across the room or the home office desk," Finegood Goldberg said of ways to set the mood. "Sending a text message saying, 'I'm looking forward to hanging out later.'"
Now let's get those pants off...
While cultural depictions of quickies are often as ridiculous as every other aspect of sex once passed through the wringer of commercial art, they can actually be intimate and fun moments.
If you approach quickie sex with realistic expectations, an open mind, a little bit of premeditation and preparation, along with open lines of communication, there's no reason you can't have some brief moments of sly fun in addition to your regular sexual encounters.